Ilo Ilo (2013) - News Poster

(2013)

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Official Oscar® Submission for Best Foreign Language Film from Singapore: ‘Pop Aye’

  • Sydney's Buzz
Official Oscar® Submission for Best Foreign Language Film from Singapore: ‘Pop Aye’
A winner of both the World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Screenwriting at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and the Big Screen Award at the Rotterdam International Film Festival, ‘Pop Aye’ was a hit with critics and festival audiences alike, and now has been selected by Singapore as the country’s Official Submission to the 90th Academy Awards. Kino Lorber has now released Kirsten Tan’s Award-Winning Pop Aye on DVD with special features including behind-the-scenes footage and trailer.

Pop Aye was released theatrically by Kino Lorber earlier in 2017, with a two-week run at New York’s Film Forum and engagements in key national markets including Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Chicago, and Seattle. International sales are by Cercamon, a sales company based in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates headed by Sébastien Chesneau who is French.

This first feature of Kirsten Tan comes from Singapore but it takes place in Thailand.
See full article at Sydney's Buzz »

Film Review: ‘Dark Is the Night’

Film Review: ‘Dark Is the Night’
The casualties of being guilty before proven innocent come across loud and clear in “Dark Is the Night,” veteran independent filmmaker Adolfo Alix Jr.’s condemnation of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. Initially predictable, showing nothing that the news hasn’t already reported, the film gains credibility as it demonstrates how drugs permeate ordinary lives in the Philippines, and hence cannot be eradicated by some quick fix. Nevertheless, seen alongside the heady experimentalism of younger compatriots, such as the politically charged hip-hop musical “Respeto,” Alix’s direction looks stuck in the dreary realism of Filipino slum movies in vogue a decade ago. Nevertheless, given its topical subject, the film should enjoy small-scale distribution in Europe via French art-house co-producer Swift Prods.

Last year, Brilliante Mendoza’s Cannes entry “Ma’ Rosa” exposed his country’s drug problem by showing how “ice” or crystal meth can be bought at mom-and-pop stores, and how police
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Golden Village Celebrates 30 Years of Exhibition Innovation

Golden Village Celebrates 30 Years of Exhibition Innovation
Golden Village Multiplex was born of a common vision 25 years ago to develop theatrical cinema in Singapore. And, while that period has seen numerous changes, the ambition has endured largely intact.

At a time when Singapore’s movie theaters had, for the most part, been dynastically controlled, the joint venture was formed by Village Roadshow group, looking for expansion beyond its native Australia, and by Hong Kong’s Golden Harvest. For more than two decades, Golden Harvest had been one of Asia’s most prolific and globally known film production studios, famous for its series of Bruce Lee action films in the early 1970s. With the decline of Hong Kong’s preeminence as a cinema production superpower, expansion of exhibition and distribution was a way forward.

The palimpsest of Gh’s and Vr’s theatrical expansion dreams can still be seen across Asia. The “Gv” in Malaysia’s No. 2 cinema
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Singapore Films Reflect Many Cultures

Singapore Films Reflect Many Cultures
Directors Boo Jun-feng, K. Rajagopal and Kirsten Tan have taken the unbeaten path in their artistic endeavors, reflecting their individualism, moral complexity and empathy for outsiders. Their films “Apprentice,” “A Yellow Bird” and “Pop Aye,” respectively, have done Singapore proud, earning accolades at key fests such as Cannes and Sundance.

They are also expressing a global mindset in their focus on diversity in Singaporean society, and through a small-scale but personalized model of co-production across Asia. This is a path and attitude leading the way in the island state’s burgeoning independent film industry — shared by other upcoming film projects releasing in 2017.

Anthony Chen, whose “Ilo Ilo” was the first Singaporean film to win the Camera D’Or in Cannes, was exec producer on “Pop Aye.” His company, Giraffe Pictures, was founded in 2014, as a result of the lessons learned from having to co-produce his own film. The company has also completed an omnibus film,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Filmart: iTunes Singapore to showcase local films

  • ScreenDaily
Filmart: iTunes Singapore to showcase local films
Exclusive: First titles to be featured on digital platform include Plame d’Or winner Ilo Ilo [pictured].

Mocha Chai Laboratories founder Chai Yee Wei’s new company A Little Seed has announced it is linking up with iTunes Singapore to showcase Singaporean films.

The first batch of 12 acclaimed Singaporean titles will be launched on the digital platform from June onwards, including Anthony Chen’s Palme d’Or winner Ilo Ilo [pictured], Boo Junfeng’s Sandcastle, Eric Khoo’s 12 Storeys, Ken Kwek’s Unlucky Plaza, 7 Letters by seven directors including Royston Tan and Kelvin Tong, and Banting by Raihan Halim (who is presenting new project La Luna at this year’s Hong Kong - Asia Film Financing Forum (Haf)).

In addition to the Singaporean titles, Chai has plans to bring more southeast Asian films on itunes at a later stage. Chai set up A Little Seed with Objectifs Centre for Photography & Filmmaking. The latter company, headed by Yuni
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Good Move picks up Malaysian drama 'You Mean The World To Me'

  • ScreenDaily
Good Move picks up Malaysian drama 'You Mean The World To Me'
Exclusive: Yann Yann Yeo, Swee Lin Neo and Frederick Lee star.

Hong Kong-based Good Move Media has picked up international rights to Malaysian filmmaker Saw Teong Hin’s You Mean The World To Me, which has Christopher Doyle on board as DoP.

Malaysia’s Astro Shaw produced the film with Saw Teong Hin’s Real Films. The cast is headed by Yann Yann Yeo (Ilo Ilo), Swee Lin Neo and Frederick Lee.

Good Move, which is screening the film at Efm today [Feb 12], has rights outside of Malaysia, Taiwan and Singapore. Astro Shaw is handling Malaysia, where a May release is scheduled, while MM2 Entertainment is handling Taiwan and Singapore.

Set in 1970s Penang, the Hokkien-language drama tells the story of a mother and her son who suffers from mental health issues. Crew on the film also includes pan-Asian talents such as editor Liao Ching Song (The Assassin), while Taiwanese singer Zhao Chuan has contributed to the soundtrack
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Sundance ’17 and on to Rotterdam ‘17: Interview with Kirsten Tan, Writer and Director of ‘Pop Aye’

  • Sydney's Buzz
Sundance ’17 and on to Rotterdam ‘17: Interview with Kirsten Tan, Writer and Director of ‘Pop Aye’
This first feature of Kirsten Tan premiered in Sundance ‘17 World Cinema Dramatic Competition. Its provenance is Singapore but it takes place in Thailand. It continued onward to the Hivos Tiger Competition at Iffr (R’dam).

The thrill of interviewing here in Sundance is that you see a film; you have an impression and while it is still fresh you meet the filmmakers without having much time for any research or reflection. And then you get to see them again as “old friends” when you meet again in Rotterdam.

As Kirsten, her producer Weijie Lai and I sat down at the Sundance Co-op on Main Street here in Park City, I really had little idea of where the interview would take us, somewhat analogously to her film in which an architect, disenchanted with life in general, being put aside as “old” in his own highly successful architectural firm and in a stale relationship with his wife,
See full article at Sydney's Buzz »

Sundance Film Review: ‘Pop Aye’

Sundance Film Review: ‘Pop Aye’
It takes gumption, or downright foolhardiness, to shoot a debut feature in a foreign land, let alone one that depends on a giant animal in the title role. Yet, Singaporean writer-director Kirsten Tan has pulled off “Pop Aye” with candor and laid-back aplomb. A road movie set in Thailand, where a burnt-out architect tries to take his elephant back to their rural hometown, this bucolic escape from big-city life is anchored by a solid script filled with characters who, despite reaching the end of the road, find ways to make peace with the world.

Warm yet unsentimental, graced with the lightest touch of surrealism, this opening-night offering from Sundance’s world cinema dramatic competition is a joy for patient viewers, special enough to find a small but appreciated life beyond festivals — a fate heightened by the involvement of executive producer Anthony Chen (director of Cannes Camera d’Or winner “Ilo Ilo
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Singapore is Evolving, Says Imda CEO Gabriel Lim

Singapore is Evolving, Says Imda CEO Gabriel Lim
CEO of the recently established Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore, Gabriel Lim is charged with developing film, TV and tech industries, while also holding the line in a country known for social conservatism. He tells Variety that things are on the move on both fronts.

Variety: Why merge the Media Development Authority and the Infocomm Development Authority into one body?

Gabriel Lim: We see Infocomm and media coming together everywhere. Traditional tech companies recognizing that what they do is not just about technology, but also content, user experience and stories. And we have media companies recognizing the value of infocomm. We call it convergence.

So we decided to organize ourselves as a government and make a play for the future. (The agency) is both a regulator and a developer.

Regulation is mostly about how we can allow innovation to take place, while making sure that public interests are protected.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Singapore’s Maiden Sundance Selection ‘Pop Aye’ Picked Up by Cercamon

Singapore’s Maiden Sundance Selection ‘Pop Aye’ Picked Up by Cercamon
After a busy year, Singapore film making is now additionally celebrating the selection of “Pop Aye” as the opening movie in the 2017 Sundance Film Festival’s World Cinema Dramatic Competition section.

The road trip drama is the first feature by Tan and the first time that a Singapore film has found such a prominent position in Sundance.

It has also secured international sales representation through Cercamon. The Dubai-based sales agency was established last year by Sebastien Chesneau, former sales head at Rezo Films International.

The film’s selection comes after a banner year that included the selection of Boo Junfeng’s Apprentice and K Rajagopal’s “A Yellow Bird” for slots in different sections of the Cannes festival.

Production is by Lai Wenjie at E&W Films and executive production by Giraffe Pictures. Giraffe is the production label of director Anthony Chen, who won the Camera d’Or at Cannes in 2013 with “Ilo Ilo.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Singapore Media Festival Ushers in New Wave of Southeast Asian Cinema

Singapore Media Festival Ushers in New Wave of Southeast Asian Cinema
Singaporean filmmaker Boo Junfeng considers 2016 a very good year. Following a standing ovation for his second feature “Apprentice” after it was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes Film Festival and winning the rising director award at the Busan Intl. Film Festival’s Asia Star Awards in South Korea, the film was recently selected to represent Singapore in the foreign-language film race at the 89th Academy Awards.

But Boo doesn’t see the glory belonging just to his intense and critical drama about capital punishment in his home country. It also belongs, he says, to a new wave of Singaporean cinema. Many of these films will be screened at this year’s Singapore Media Festival, which runs Nov. 23-Dec.9.

“This wave of Singaporean filmmakers has certainly come a long way,” says the filmmaker. “It only began in the 1990s and then there’s been a steady stream of
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Lff: Athina Rachel Tsangari, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Abi Morgan among jurors

  • ScreenDaily
Lff: Athina Rachel Tsangari, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Abi Morgan among jurors
Michael Sheen will host this year’s London Film Festival awards ceremony.

The juries for the 60th BFI London Film Festival (Oct 5-16) have been revealed.

Athina Rachel Tsangari, director of Chevalier - winner of best film at last year’s Lff and Greece’s Oscar entry this year – will preside over this year’s Official Competition.

That jury will also feature Belle star Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Suffragette writer Abi Morgan, Aferim! director Radu Jude, and Ilo Ilo director Anthony Chen.

They will oversee a line-up including Paul Verhoeven’s Elle, submitted by France to the 2017 Oscar race, Barry JenkinsMoonlight, François Ozon’s Frantz¸ Mohamed Diab’s Clash, and Benedict AndrewsUna.

Frost/Nixon and The Queen star Michael Sheen will host this year’s awards ceremony at Banqueting House on Oct 15, where 12 Years A Slave director Steve McQueen will receive a BFI Fellowship award.

Elsewhere, Suffragette director Sarah Gavron will preside over the First Feature Competition
See full article at ScreenDaily »

[Venice Review] The Road to Mandalay

We’ve lamented the qualitative drop of Chinese cinema around this time last year, as Hu Guan’s glossy generational drama Mr. Six closed the Venice Film Festival on a decidedly mute note. Things aren’t looking up 12 months later, as the traditionally sinophile fest on Lido could not even save a token out-of-competition slot in its official selection for the world’s second largest film market. This came after an equally dismal showing at Cannes this May. Even taking the entire Chinese-language film world into account, whenever Taiwan’s Hou Hsiao-Hsien or Hong Kong’s Wong Kar-Wai don’t have a movie out – and those guys spend half an eternity on a project – one might be hard pressed to find the kind of artful and daring humanist fares that used to win favors from festivals everywhere.

While this major gap in working auteurs does not appear to be closing up anytime soon,
See full article at The Film Stage »

Singapore opens first Dolby Atmos mixing theatre

Exclusive: The facility has been installed at Mocha Chai Laboratories.

Mocha Chai Laboratories (McL) has become the first Singapore post-production facility to install Dolby Atmos as well as the world’s first to fit a Dolby Atmos mixing theatre with Christie’s Vive cinema audio system.

Taking charge of the new mixing theatre is award-winning sound designer Lim Ting Li whose most recent work is Boo Junfeng’s Apprentice, which premiered at Cannes’ Un Certain Regard this year.

Lim recently joined McL as director of sound. She graduated from the National Film & Television School in London with an Ma in sound design. Her recent awards include the Verna Fields Award in sound editing at the Mpse Golden Reel Awards in Los Angeles and the best sound designer award at the 2013 Underwire Festival in London.

With the addition of a mixing theatre, McL is now Singapore’s first fully integrated digital film lab, offering final mix
See full article at ScreenDaily »

‘The Boy from Mushin’ Chronicles a Nigerian Activist Who Came Out as Gay on Live TV

  • Indiewire
Here’s your daily dose of an indie film, web series, TV pilot, what-have-you in progress — at the end of the week, you’ll have the chance to vote for your favorite.

In the meantime: Is this a project you’d want to see? Tell us in the comments.

The Boy from Mushin

Logline: “The Boy from Mushin” tells the story of Bisi Alimi, who risked his life when he came out as gay live on Nigerian television.

Elevator Pitch:

“The Boy From Mushin” is a feature length documentary that follows Bisi Alimi, who was raised in one of Nigeria’s poorest slums. He fled persecution to become one of the most influential African Lgbt and Human Rights activists. Bisi risked his life when he came out as gay live on national television. After enduring three years of violent attacks, he fled to London. The film charts Bisi’s journey
See full article at Indiewire »

Cannes Film Review: ‘Apprentice’

Cannes Film Review: ‘Apprentice’
Launching at Cannes in 2009, Jacques Audiard’s delirious incarceration fantasy “A Prophet” virtually rewrote the rules for the prison movie, which makes the festival a fitting platform for a film that is “A Prophet’s” opposite in nearly every way. Privileging psychic scars over physical violence, and battling aggression with introspection, Singaporean director Boo Junfeng’s “Apprentice” shifts its attention from the prisoners to the staff, concentrating on a soft-spoken corrections officer who finds himself on the fast track to become chief executioner on the Malay equivalent of Death Row.

Though he offers a platitude about “wanting to help people” during the job interview, Aiman (Fir Rahman) has his own personal reasons for wanting to work in the Larangan Prison, though his motives emerge only gradually over the course of the film. What the young man doesn’t realize when he lands his new gig is how swiftly he will
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Imogen Poots Starring in Drama ‘Mobile Homes’ (Exclusive)

Imogen Poots Starring in Drama ‘Mobile Homes’ (Exclusive)
Imogen Poots is starring in the Canadian-French drama “Mobile Homes,” Variety has learned exclusively.

Producers are Mike MacMillan, founder of Lithium Studios Productions; Fréderic de Goldschmidt, owner of Madeleine Films; and Eric Dupont, founder of Incognito Films. “Mobile Homes” is currently being filmed in and around the Niagara Falls area.

The movie is adapted from the short film with the same title. “Mobile Homes” is written and directed by Vladimir de Fontenay (“Memoria”). Benoit Soler, whose credits include 2013 Cannes Caméra d’Or winner “Ilo Ilo,” is the director of photography.

The story follows a young woman drifting from one motel to the next with her dangerously intoxicating boyfriend and her 8-year-old son. After a crisis rips their lives apart, she lands in a mobile home community, where the promise of a new beginning for her son forces her to reexamine the very meaning of motherhood.

Mobile Homes” was developed by
See full article at Variety - Film News »

BFI inks content deal with Chinese VOD giant

BFI inks content deal with Chinese VOD giant
iQIYI, which reports 10m subs, will host a curated selection of titles from the BFI London Film Festival.

The British Film Institute (BFI) has struck a commercial deal with China’s largest VOD platform iQIYI for the latter to carry a selection of films that have previously premiered at the BFI London Film Festival.

The titles are a mixture of UK independent and world cinema. Terms of the deal were not made available.

Curated into four categories – Growing Pains, Foreign Adventures, Family Anecdotes, Social Perspectives – the BFI has programmed 20 titles specifically for the new collection, including Michael Haneke’s Oscar-winning Amour, Carol Morley’s The Falling, and Haifaa Al-Mansour’s Wadjda.

The BFI negotiated rights to those 20 titles with sales agents, while the full line-up also includes a further 11 films that had previously struck deals to be on iQIYI but will now become a part of the collection, including Steve McQueen’s Oscar-winning 12 Years A Slave and [link
See full article at ScreenDaily »

British Film Institute Strikes Program Pact With China’s iQIYI

British Film Institute Strikes Program Pact With China’s iQIYI
The British Film Institute has struck an exclusive deal to curate a movie strand for iQIYI, one of China’s largest online video platforms.

“The BFI Collection for iQIYI includes 20 feature titles, a mixture of stand-out British independents and world cinema, which have all premiered at the BFI London Film Festival,” the organization said in a statement.

Some titles have already been licensed by iQIYI from rights owners. Others are supplied to the Chinese company by the BFI. The BFI describes its role as having “programmed and delivered” the collection.

Titles in the collection include “Captain Phillips,” “Ilo Ilo” and “Submarine.” BFI-supplied titles include “Philomena,” “Nowhere Boy” and “Millions.”

They are organized into thematic strands including “foreign adventures,” “growing pains” and “family anecdotes,” mirroring the London festival’s own programming avenues. The collection is expected to grow beyond the initial 20.

“Online movie streaming transcends time and space to allow more
See full article at Variety - Film News »

'Distance', 'The Tag-Along' to bookend Golden Horse fest

  • ScreenDaily
'Distance', 'The Tag-Along' to bookend Golden Horse fest
Thriller The Tag-Along to close festival in Taipei.

Taipei’s Golden Horse Film Festival (Nov 5-26) is to open with Distance, produced and written by award-winning Anthony Chen (Ilo Ilo).

The film marks the first project from Chen’s Giraffe Picture and is an omnibus feature collaboration with China’s Guangxi Film Group.

Up-and-coming filmmakers Sivaroj Kongsakul (from Thailand), Tan Shijie (Singapore), and Xin Yukun (China) direct. Taiwanese actor Chen Bo-Lin (Blue Gate Crossing) plays the lead.

Closing film The Tag-Along, directed by Wei-Hao Cheng, is an adaptation of a paranormal, urban legend that centres on a mysterious girl in red. It stars Ann Hsu, River Huang and Yiin Shang Liou.

Cheng won best short at the Taipei Film Awards with The Death of A Security Guard.

Both the opening and closing films are world premieres.

The 52nd Golden Horse Awards Ceremony will be held on Nov 21.
See full article at ScreenDaily »
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